Tusup Says He ‘Can Almost Guarantee’ Cusinato 400 IM Olympic Gold in New Vlog

Swim coach Shane Tusup has released two more episodes from his ‘Olympic Darkhorse’ series on YouTube, highlighting his training with Olympic gold medal hopeful Ilaria Cusinato of Italy and 15-year-old Hungarian swimmer Zsombor Bujdoso. You can watch episode 1 and read our post on that here.


Episode two is a quick, seven-ish-minute-long recap of the trio’s first day of training in Cittadella, Italy. While Cusinato is a multi-talented elite swimmer, there are several mentions of the 400 IM, suggesting that that event is hers and Tusup’s main focus over the next ten months or so. No other events are mentioned.

The three of them have already gotten to know each other a bit, and now it’s time for Tusup and his swimmers to get a feel for each other in a training environment.

“I’m trying to learn where your breaking point is,” says Tusup to Cusinato. “I don’t want to break you, but I also want you to go beyond where you’re used to.”

The 400 IM is one of the most grueling events in the sport. Unsurprisingly, to be a great 400 IMer, one must also go through grueling training to prepare for the big moment. That preparation is already being hammered home to Cusinato right off the bat.

“When you get the Olympic gold medal… that I can almost guarantee you, it’s going to be worth every second,” says Tusup to a worn-out Cusinato between sets in the pool. “You’re gonna teach your body to kill itself during that Olympic final,” he reminds her while she’s doing a modified plank during a gym session.

“We share [it all]… the happiness, the tears,” says Cusinato in regards to the three of them, and their support/camera crew, training and living together.


Episode 3 is another training recap, with Cusinato, Bujdoso, and Tusup back at the pool in Cittadella.

Bujdoso tells the camera (in Hungarian) that he’s happy to be back training with Tusup after having worked with him previously. He’s also glad to have a training partner in Cusinato to motivate each other as he says they have similar times. Bujdoso gives a nod to Tusup’s coaching methods, specifically that he tells him exactly what to give his full focus to, which helps him in his races and in life.

The swimmers end the session with some fun on an inflatable course in the pool.

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ifart in rowdy gaines general direction
2 years ago

dude jinxed her so hard he got the whole damned olynpic games canceled

3 years ago

Please, Could this one be removed

3 years ago

These videos are all very similar and essentially devoid of content–like a very long intro for a show that never happens.

3 years ago

Get real

3 years ago

Shane is a swim coach by trade. Not only that, but a coach practiced with working one on one with another swimmer – isolated training of sorts. Further, he has earned the title of being a GOOD coach. Regardless of his outside pool drama with Katinka, he was central to the process of making her one of the best Female swimmers to have ever lived. Could another coach have done the same? Probably. However, it still holds that HE was was the one who helped make it happen. He’s obviously not a clown when it comes to swim knowledge and knows how to objectively work with certain top top level talent.

He’s also a character, and kind of a… Read more »

Hungarian speaker
Reply to  Kripkenstein
3 years ago

I was thinking the same – Cusinato’s new training set-up goes along with what Katinka used to say about being a “24-hour athlete”. Living and travelling together as a team (ie. working non-stop) makes perfect sense in this context. It’s extreme to have your coach presumably supervise your eating and sleeping quite so closely, but the goal is extreme, too. Katinka is on record saying that she no longer works quite that hard any more – which, along with her age, explains why she races fewer events.

William Charles Alexander
3 years ago

Cusinato eerily looks sorta like Katinka with some of her facial features and signature bodacious curly hair. Is it weird to think maybe Shane is re-living his leadup to the last olympic cycle vicariously through training Cusinato? It may be farfetched, but i feel like there could be some substance to my theory…

Becky D
3 years ago

Shaneless self-promotion

Reply to  Becky D
3 years ago

full of shane tho

3 years ago

Gotta be honest, Didn’t read article or watch video, came just for comments!

About Karl Ortegon

Karl Ortegon

Karl Ortegon studied sociology at Wesleyan University in Middletown, CT, graduating in May of 2018. He began swimming on a club team in first grade and swam four years for Wesleyan.

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